By Naomi Yakawich
Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Founder and Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon called on U.S. policymakers and Korea experts to embrace the idea of unification as a necessary strategic approach to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C. on December 12.
Organized by GPF and Alliance for Korea United, the forum, “Unified Korea: Strategic Framework for Resolving the Korean Peninsula Issue,” follows in the wake of growing popular and political support for the unification process in South Korea, while also cautioning that unification is fraught with challenges that require both broad civil society engagement and international political resolve.
In his speech, Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon warned against prolonged negotiations.
“The North is a generational dictatorship, and recognizes the ephemeral nature of democratic nations with presidential term limits and changing political tides. Over the years, it has learned how to manipulate its relationships with ROK and US to its benefit. Simply put, all it needs to do is drag out the talks to buy time and economic concessions, while hoping for a change in the domestic political fortune of its adversaries.”
As the only viable option, Dr. Moon advocates the idea of unification as a necessary strategic approach to denuclearizing the peninsula. However, unification simply for the sake of unification cannot happen; too much is at stake. Dr. Moon outlined the approach presented in his book Korean Dream:
“All Koreans, North and South, trace their origins back millennia to the Dangun story. Running like a thread throughout its five thousand year history is the ideal of Hongik Ingan that is deeply embedded in that very story of Korea’s founding. Hongik Ingan – “living for the greater benefit of humanity” — has always been a guiding principle at times of crisis. It was a motivating ideal for the Independence movement that sought to create a new republic out of the ashes of the Chosen dynasty and Korea’s annexation into the Japanese empire. It shaped the aspirations of the Independence leaders to want more than just freedom from Japanese colonial rule. They believed, based on the Hongik Ingan ethos, that it was their destiny to create an ideal nation that would be an example to the world.”
The social transformation required for peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula will mean the active engagement of a broad public united in pursuit of a common cause. Dr. Moon calls to Koreans from the North, South, and abroad to take the lead in the Korean Dream. Read Dr. Hyun Jin P. Moon's full speech here.